A study into the impact of the resources boom on the regions has found some experiencing transitional problems, but the country is better off overall.
21 Apr 2017 - 9:46 AM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 10:03 AM

It might be over, but the mining boom has left Australia substantially better off in the long term.

That's the view of the Productivity Commission in a draft report on transitioning regional economies.

Its study found the mining boom boosted incomes on average, led to larger profits for mining companies and bolstered the coffers of state and federal governments.

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The slowing of the investment phase has caused transitional pressures for regional Australia, but a mobile workforce - including the use of fly-in, fly-out workers - has spread the benefits.

"Employment has grown over the past five years in about 80 per cent of Australia's regions and it remains higher in the mining sector now than before the mining boom," the commission found.

"Australia as a whole is better off because of the boom."

Commissioner Paul Lindwall said while incomes and house prices in some areas rose and then fell back down in spectacular fashion, most mining regions are resilient and can adapt.

"But remote and very remote regions, including Indigenous communities, and some locations in metropolitan areas, have a much lower capacity to adapt to change," he said.

Populations have declined and employment has fallen in a small number of mining regions and in agricultural areas.

In some cases, that can be put down to the use of more technological innovation and efficiencies, which require fewer workers.

"These changes have affected the social fabric of these communities and naturally contributes to a feeling of being left behind," Mr Lindwall said.

The report therefore argues there is no single approach to helping successfully transition and develop regions in Australia.

But strategies which are led by the local community, are aligned with the region's strengths and have measurable performance outcomes would work best.

"Although government expenditure on projects can create short-term employment, it often does little to support transition and long-term sustainable growth in regions," it said.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison last year wrote to the commission asking it look into regions which are likely to make a less successful transition from the resources boom.

A final report will be published in December.

AAP